Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate the holiday at this time of year. My thanks to each of you for dropping by.

God bless.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Bit More Progress and Questions

I have finished the purple stripe and the smaller cream stripe on the afghan. A tiny bit of progress on the Christmas gift for Kris. I hope to have most of the second grey stripe done by the weekend. Whew, just may get finished after all.

One step forward and two back however. I stripped the bedding off our bed and put it in the washer..... Well the catch broke and so now I am without a washer until the part comes in. This washer is only 4 years old and should not be falling apart as of yet. Guess it is true that things are not made as well as they used to be. Our dryer is about 15 years old and still going strong. Has anyone else noticed this?????

My other question has to do with Christmas. Around our house Christmas has always been a big deal. It is a time that the entire family can get together and enjoy each others company. The size of the gift does not matter, it is the thought that counts in choosing the gift.

What I am having trouble with this year is how some bloggers will one minute talk about how Christmas is a commercial holiday, a grab for our money and the next talk about how their next blog post will be about getting ready for a wonderful celebration. In fact in previous posts some of these bloggers call Christmas a bank holiday and cut down those of us that do celebrate the holiday. How on earth can they reconcile those two totally different thoughts? Does anyone else see something wrong with this?

I am still going to Celebrate the birth of my savior with my family in the best way I can. Cherishing each moment that we have together because time is too short to not do so every chance we get. We celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and retirements can we do anything but celebrate during the Christmas season as well?

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Menu Monday

Monday has rolled around once again (much too quickly for my taste) and it is time for me to post my weekly menus.


Baked Spaghetti using up the leftovers from Saturday night. Mind you there will be enough for another meal of this as well. Plan on making a salad to round out the meal.


Leftover Pork Roast from our Sunday supper made into a stir fry and served over a bed of rice.


Leftover Baked Spaghetti and some more salad.


Leftover Stir Fry and rice.


We will be out for a meal. It will be the Christmas party for the company Harvey used to work for and retirees are always invited.


I am pulling out the ham bone and making Split Pea Soup. I think that Grilled Cheese Sandwiches sound perfect.


Beef Roast, mashed potatoes and either green beans or carrots.

So there it is, my fairly repetitive menu for the week. I am really trying to cut down on waste and on the grocery budget. Nothing seems to cost less, and the only way to combat rising prices is to shop smart and use up everything you possibly can.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Ramblings

As I left for Mass today the sky was overcast and it started to rain. Not the best weather for a cold November day and really at that moment in time I confess I was a little put out thinking we would have another year of ice driving.

I was one of the lectors at Mass today, and as I was reading the sun came out and started to shine in the windows of the church. By the time Father Brian started the gospel the church was awash with colour through the stained glass. I guess I should trust in the Lord a bit more when the skies are cloudy and the day is dull.

Thought I would share a picture of the front of my church with you all.

I just love the way the light shines through the windows.

This is a picture of the church entrance.

Not really clear, but it gives you a bit of an idea of what the church I attend looks like. 

Today Father Brian ended his homily with a question (he usually does this). His question was how can we show the faith and love that the thief showed when he asked Christ to remember him to his Father in heaven. 

Once again Father Brian opened our eyes to the fact that celebrating as a community is great, but it is just as important that we carry the gospel outside of the church and live it in our every day lives.

It has been a quiet day. 

I did make some candy today, but only one batch. 

 This will be broken up tonight and placed in the freezer.

The rest of the day I have spent knitting. Here is a picture of the afghan so far.

Long way to go yet and so I think I will put aside baking for awhile and concentrate on getting this gift finished.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Slowly But Surely

"Slowly, but surely" can be used in a number of ways on the Phillips homestead. Today, however it is being used for my Christmas baking and candy making..... Slowly but surely I am getting it all done and into the freezer.

Today was another cold day on the prairies and the best thing was to stay in, keep warm and do some Christmasy (is this even a word...blogger doesn't think so) things.

I found it to be another productive day in the kitchen.

First I made these flat Truffles.

Now they are cut and ready to go into the freezer.

I moved on to Peanut Butter Cups, Only this time I made them as squares.

These still have to be sliced and put in a container. I will do that later tonight. Saved lots of time doing them this way for a change.

Onto the next goodie for the freezer. Chocolate Mint Snowballs.

These lovely morsels of chocolate goodness will be rolled in icing sugar just before serving.

Lastly I made something I did not get a chance to make last year and they were dearly missed by everybody in the family. Caramels!!!!!

These still have to cool a bit before cutting and wrapping. I know what I will be busy doing tomorrow after Mass.

Just a few things left to do and I can safely say my baking and candy making is done for the holiday season.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thursday Tidbits

I have had back pain this week and today is actually the first day I have been pain free. In fact I feel wonderful.

I don't know whether our cat Shania was sick in sympathy with me or not, but after a week of her.....well vomiting, and other not so nice things happening she seems better today as well.


Here she is after getting fed her treats and me stepping on a couple and smashing them to bits. She is not impressed with me and the mess I made at all.

The rest of the day was spent doing my regular Thursday chores and smelling the glue that Harvey is using to do some woodworking in the basement.

I did manage to get most of the Christmas cards ready for the mail, and a parcel as well.

Only a couple left and those get a nice long letter. They are for two girls I went to University with, oh so many years ago.

Well it is time to get back to my knitting. This afghan for Kris is taking so much longer than the others. Hope I can get it done in time.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Middle of the Week

It is the middle of the week and I am busy attending meetings, doing my regular household chores and of course getting baking and candy making underway for when Kurt and Kris come home. I have even started my Christmas Cards and hope to get them done by tomorrow (sure helps that I have cut down the number of people I send to over the years).

The snow has been coming down since noon today and the temperature has dropped considerably. I think winter has arrived!

Today I made Melting Moment Cookies (a type of shortbread cookie) and Peanut Brittle.

Here is a picture of the pile of cookies.

And here is a picture of the Peanut Brittle.
Tomorrow I think I will make some truffles and Sugar Cookies.

I love how my house smells this time of year.

My evenings are spent knitting. I sure hope that I can get the afghan finished for Kris in time!!! This one seems to be taking much longer to do. Procrastination is not a good thing.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Menu Monday

The past week saw us using up lots of leftovers from previous meals so I did not post my weekly menu plan.

This week we are starting free and clear so I am posting once again.


Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, carrots. Nice comfort food as winter is creeping up on us.


I have a meeting so Harvey can have the leftover Sweet and Sour Ribs and Rice.


Chicken Breasts, I am thinking of doing them in the oven along with some roasted veggies.


Leftover Ham and pasta casserole.


Salmon Casserole


Spaghetti and Meat Sauce along with a salad.


This is the Grey Cup and I am so tempted to order a pizza. I will be strong and make a pork roast, roasted potatoes and beets instead.

So there are my menus for the upcoming week.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Ramblings

It has been another miserable day outside and so the best thing was staying in and making the best of the day.

We went to Mass and that was the only time we were outside. The roads were icy and driving was not nice at all. People seem to forget that once snow arrives driving conditions change.

This is what it looked like outside first thing this morning.

This was taken after Harvey cleaned off the vehicle a little bit. The snow continued to fall until late this afternoon. Hopefully it is done now.

We did not have a homily today. Instead we watched a DVD put out by the Archdiocese on how the Annual Appeal helps the various Ministries in the Diocese. As a lay person it was interesting that most of the video was based on Lay Formation, Youth, and Visitation House. These are all Lay lead ministries in the church. Nothing was said about how the Appeal helps pay the tuition fees of Seminarians. Hmmm, perhaps the Church as a whole has realized how much an informed laity can help the church.

I only baked a bit today. I made English Shortbread and it smelled wonderful.

One more thing to put away for the boys to enjoy when they are home for the holidays.

I hope to get a few other items done tomorrow. Cookies seem a very good idea right now. I am leaning towards Whipped Shortbread and Sugar Cookies.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Winter Is Here

Today started off cloudy but there was no wind and no sign of snow. Yet by this afternoon snow started to fall. Not much at first and it was melting as soon as it hit the ground.

The temperature started to drop and by 5 pm this is what the outside looked like.
Now there is a lot more and it is still coming down. Looks as if winter is here to stay as our temperature is not supposed to get above freezing any longer this month.

This turned out to be the perfect day to get a few chores done around the kitchen (tomorrow is supposed to be the same way).

I pulled out the slow cooker and started to make baked beans.
This is what they looked like when I started, and here is the finished product.

Just waiting for them to cool down enough to put into the freezer. Yummy goodness to eat later on this winter.

Then because making beans did not keep me busy enough I started my Christmas baking.

I made this Almond Bark first.

Next it was on to Butter Tarts. Sorry there is no picture of these beauties. I made 3 dozen and stuck them in the freezer as quickly as possible. If I leave them out for any length of time Harvey has a bad habit of snacking on them.

This was a very productive day in the old homestead. I just love the way the house smells getting ready for the Christmas celebrations. Between times I get to do crafty things!!!

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thursday Tid Bits

It is almost the end of another week, putting us just that much closer to Christmas and family time. So looking forward to that (well at least the time with my own family). So far nothing has been said about a family get together so perhaps this year we will all be on our own. Quite what I would like.

I worked today with a student that has no verbal communication beyond the word hi, and grunting. My mind was mush by the time I got home, and of course because my mind was mush I just do not feel like doing much of anything.

I pulled out my knitting (on the third Christmas afghan) and I am hoping to get one ball of the yarn used up.

This afghan will be for Kris. The surprise to me was that he wanted this colour........

I am surprised that after 32 years I finally know that his favorite colour is purple!!! To make it a little more masculine I plan on using some grey and cream along with purple, making it striped instead of one solid colour.

Hopefully I will have a picture to show you all within the next few days with at least the start of a stripe or even two.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Saving Happening Today

Today has been a slow, pain filled day. My fibro has been acting up and slow, even stretches and walking did not help a whole lot. A bit, but not as much as I would have liked.

I have been busy knitting (finished Kurt's afghan and have started Kris's in the evenings) and curling up on a chair to spend most of the afternoon reading. Sure hope that tomorrow the headache is gone and the pain has lessened. I got a call to work and since it is for a good friend I am doing the sub job. Money coming in is always a good thing.

I did go out for a bit this afternoon. Our CWL Rummage Sale was on and I went to look for some sewing supplies.

I got a Christmas table cloth that I can cut up into useable material for ornaments or gift bags.

I am leaning towards reusable bags as my other gift bags are getting a bit worn.

I also picked up this lovely robin egg blue knit. I think it will make a lovely spring skirt.

I have just over 3 meters which is more than enough for the pattern I have in mind.

This brown with what almost looks like spiked balloons on it I plan on making a dress out of.

I have just over 4 meters of this fabric.

Lastly I picked up this.

There is only one meter of this, but I should be able to get a tank top out of it.

I got all this fabric for a grand total of $5.00. Not too bad really as to buy new would be at least 5 times that cost. 

I did not post my weekly menus as I am busy trying to use up items in the fridge. Tonight I made Baked Rigatoni using up the leftover pasta from a couple of nights ago. Why is it that using up leftovers always seems to mean there are even more leftovers to "use up"? Oh well stretching what we eat makes me feel as if I am accomplishing something towards our finances.
It actually turned out quite good, except it was way more than we could eat for one meal. I made a TV type meal for Kris and the rest of the leftovers will be a couple of lunches.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, November 11, 2013


Remembering all those who gave up so much in order for the rest of us to have a life of freedom, joy and the many blessings we have.

To those still serving..... God bless you all.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday Ramblings

The end of another jam packed week. It is sure nice to spend a day just being.

While it has been cold and windy outside it is nice and warm inside and what makes it even warmer is the fact that Saskatchewan's Football team has made it through the quarter finals.

Way to go Roughriders.
 Today Mass was a bit different than normal (well at least what was normal the past few years). We had three families lay wreaths for Remembrance Day (one at each Mass) and I must say it was nice to get back to what had regularly been done before the influx of foreign priests that did not understand what this day means to Canada and the rest of the world.

I have spent much time today remembering my 4 Uncles that fought in the Second World War. None of them would speak much about what they went through, but I know it must have been life changing for each of them. I am so happy all of them made it back and managed to live lives of service even after leaving the armed forces.

These are pictures of them.

My Uncle Arnold.

My Uncle Sam.

Uncle Dave.

And last but not least....

Uncle Albert.

They made it home when so many did not.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Off We Go

We are off on a road trip today to Regina. While there we will visit with Kris, and get some needed shopping done. All of course already saved for or in the budget.

Show you later what goodies I bring home.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thursday Tid Bits

It is getting close to the end of another week and that brings us even closer to Christmas! I am working like mad on the second afghan and hopefully will have it finished and the last one started by the middle of next week. I sometimes wonder why on earth I wait so long to get started on my handmade gifts. Every year I say I will start sooner and every year I procrastinate.

This week I have been saving lots of money and trying not to waste anything.

I made a lovely stew and we had two great meals from it. I still have a container in the freezer for a night I don't feel like cooking.

Then one night I took the leftover chicken, the leftover roast potatoes, and the leftover veggies. Mixed them all together and put them in a pie crust. I took the drippings from the roast chicken and made a nice thick gravy (why on earth would I make gravy for our first meal, I always plan on doing so and then forget). I poured the gravy over the chicken and veggies in the crust. Slapped a second crust on top and made a lovely pie. We finished this tonight as I had a meeting to attend at the church and it was something Harvey could eat while I was gone.

This is a picture of the pie the first night.

No waste and two more lovely meals.

This has played havoc with my menu plans, but moving things around I should still be okay. In fact more than okay as I will have two extra meals this month.

This Saturday we are heading into Regina. I figured we better get there and get stocked up on items we can not get here in Estevan (fabric, certain woods for Harvey, cheaper light bulbs, embroidery floss, and machine embroidery thread to name a few), before the weather changes for the worst. We will spend the day shopping and then have supper with Kris. It will be a priceless day being together and having fun (well I will be having fun, not too sure about the boys).

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Menu Monday

Things got a bit turned around last week and items I planned to make....never got made. We were busy eating leftovers and keeping the fridge cleared out. Keeping those leftovers for another meal is a great way to save time and money. It is the frugal thing to do and I have gotten much better over the years at keeping our waste to a minimum.

Okay so here is this weeks menu....subject to change if I have lots of leftovers.

Stew and either dumplings or stew over nice thick slices of homemade bread.

Leftover chicken and veggies from Sunday made into a pot pie. I may have to add some veggies, but not many.

Leftover stew served over bread or with dumplings (whatever way I don't serve it on Monday).

Leftover Chicken Pot Pie and perhaps a salad.

Lazy Perogies and salad.

Baked Beef Short Ribs, mashed potatoes and beets.

Ham, mashed potatoes, carrots, and salad.

So there it is. My carnivore of a husband should be satisfied.

Everybody have a wonderful day.

God bless.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Ramblings

It has been a quiet and fruitful day on the old homestead.

I attended the Blue Mass at the church last night. It was a wonderfully spiritual experience. During the Prayers of the Faithful the names of those who had died in the previous year and all of the loved ones of those attending were called out. The church was in total darkness (much like it is during the Easter Vigil) and candles were lit as each name was called out in prayer. It was beautiful!!! It seemed to draw us closer to those that have left this world for the next.

Harvey finished his project today. He made me a display case for the thimbles I collected on our vacation. He used scraps of oak he had in his work room.
Another collection here, but at least it is smaller than my angel collection and it should be relatively easy to add to. Don't mind the poster behind the door, eventually that will be heading to Kris' place or perhaps the trash if he does not want it.

I spent most of the day working on the next Christmas gift. It is working up nicely and should be done by the end of next week (keeping fingers crossed), if I am lucky I will finish it earlier.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.

Friday, November 1, 2013

The End of One Month and the Beginning of Another

It is hard to believe that October is now behind us and we have finished the first day of November. It is the first time in years that we have not had a pretty good covering of the white stuff so I am hoping (keeping fingers crossed) that this will continue for awhile longer.

We finished our last Meals on Wheels for the year. I think that Harvey actually enjoyed it. Mind you delivering 80 some meals for the week did take some time. I have done this side of the city numerous times and we have never delivered this many meals before. Guess this shows we have an aging population here in the city. I am no spring chicken and will continue with this volunteer work for as long as I am able....I am just worried that there will be no one to take over once those of us who do this can no longer do so.

Another thing has me a bit concerned. That is the constant increase in the prices of various food items and things like shampoo, soap, detergent, and toothpaste. This month I was way over budget on household items. Household items includes everything that is used in the house as well as groceries. I need to get this budget line down and I have a feeling that Harvey is not going to like it much. This may mean more meatless meals (this will drive my carnivore of a husband slightly crazy) and perhaps me dishing out the food on the plates before serving the meal.

Electrical and gas bills are going to be rising as well. I need to think of ways to cut back on the usage of these utilities as well. It will be tough, but with a bit of forethought we should be able to cut some spending on these categories. I am not going to freeze to death, but by making sure lights are off, the heat turned down or off in rooms not in use, and using cold water for washing where I can I should be able to cut down.

Not working full time is getting a bit easier to handle. Subbing I can say yes or no as I please bringing in a bit of extra cash which does come in handy sometimes (especially this time of year). This saves us on fuel for my vehicle. I actually managed to get through almost all of last month only filling the tank once. In fact I still have 1/4 of a tank left and that should see me through part of this first week. It also saves on me having to buy pantihose or other work type clothing. I can wear what is in my closet even if it isn't at the top of the style charts.

Everybody have a wonderful evening.

God bless.